Update #15 - 11th January

Hello Everyone,

I hope that you have all had a brilliant week back in school!

The great thing about January (other than Anne’s Joke of the Day that is) is that we will all start to see the nights getting lighter and everyone is motivated with New Year’s resolutions and goals for the year ahead! So, hopefully you have all opened your account in 2019 with enthusiasm and motivation to make this year a brilliant one and achieve everything you have set out to do! There are some top tips at the end of the update to help you keep your resolutions!! Good luck!

So, what’s been going on this week?

Catherine’s News

It’s been a great week back with everything from getting more dates in the diary for up and coming presentations, our first Regional Directors’ Meeting of the year and a trip to Hull! How good can this get??!! I am really excited about the Tutor Enrichment events we have coming up this month with Yipiyart and Skipiyap and next half term’s Tutor Choice event and the Charity Challenge week. I have even started to plan our Fit For Future Day in June (sounds like a long time off but it will soon be here!) which is going to be even bigger and better than last year!!! It’s all exciting stuff! It’s all for you so get involved and have some fun!

My weekly reminder that if you know of anyone who has already finished their A levels or may be taking a gap year after their A levels next summer who would make a great tutor remember there is a £50 finder’s fee if you recommend them and they work successfully for us! Just for clarity and the benefit of Zak in Hull, the finder’s fee is a sum of money we give to you for helping us find a new tutor, not something you have to pay us!!! Hope that’s cleared up any ambiguity!

Anne’s News

No-one likes dark mornings but I hope they are being brightened just a flicker by the JJOTD! We’re only 5 days in with another 14 to go and plenty more where these first ones have come from you’ll be pleased to hear. Of course I’m saving some of my absolute favourites to bring out later in the month but welcome all contributions so please fire across any great offerings - they could be used for years to come so a great way to kick-start your Yipiyap legacy!

Regional News

Norwich, Peterborough and Derby

We have two new members joining the team this week - Mo and Louie, both in Derby - welcome aboard and initial feedback from both your schools has been great so well done on a fab first impression. Also, a member of my team won the creative prize in the Skipiyap challenge last year so all of my team, get your creative juices flowing please as we’d love to keep that trophy in NPD!!



With everyone back in school this week it feels like things are slowly getting back to normal again after the Christmas break. The week started with a trip to Trafford Council to meet with the Virtual School’s team. We discussed the possibility of introducing support to local schools fingers crossed we’ll be origin with more Looked After Children in the area! We also had a similar meeting at MEA Central, the sister school of MEA and a new school in Manchester. Still lots of exciting things going on in terms of support but soon it’ll be time to start recruitment presentations so be warned that I might ask you to come back to your old college with me!


Denbighshire and Cheshire

Happy New Year to all my team and welcome to term two! Right into the updates and we have a new placement starting this week (more in my wall of happy), our first RD meeting of 2019 and a nice start to January's recruitment. I was out in Knutsford on Tuesday for the first of my presentations over the next few weeks and months. Interviews are starting to be queued up as well, so I may start meeting the faces of next year's tutor team soon! Finally, you'll also find a new tutor blog on the site from George so check it out!

Flintshire and Wrexham

Welcome back to everybody from the Wrexham & Flintshire team – I hope you’ve had a great break and have managed to recharge those batteries ahead of a really important term. For Y11 students in particular this is the last full term before the disruption of exams kicks in so your role in supporting them and keeping them calm but focused will be key in the upcoming months. I am looking to make an addition to the current team and have been sifting through applications with a view to meeting potential candidates in the next few days – fingers crossed for some good news on this front! I’m also looking forward to visiting Ysgol Maes Garmon in Mold for the first time to talk to their students about opportunities with Yipiyap for next year. It would be great to bring some Welsh as first language speakers into the team for added diversity.

London, Yorkshire and The Humber

Great feeling to be back after the break and everyone’s got off to a great start. Lots of new placements starting this week so congrats and well done to everyone who’s had a new start to contend with – feedback is excellent across the board. We’ve been hit a little bit by a bug in Yorkshire but communication has been great around it – well done again to those of you who will be battling in through the sniffles. Spring is just around the corner!

Also really good luck to everyone with their upcoming interviews and interview results – I know it’s a nervous time so do reach out for help or support when you need it. If you’ve had news from a uni please do also do let me know when you get a moment as I like to be as up to date as possible. Welcome back everyone and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wall of Happy

This week Joss starts us off with his special mentions

Wall of happy this week is reserved for James. We’ve been talking a lot over the last few months and I mentioned to him that sometimes we go through phases when people only ever seem to get in touch with me when something’s not quite right! That’s fine – supporting my team is what it’s all about after all! – but ever since then James made an effort to get in touch every now and again with an update from his day – good, bad or indifferent – just to keep me in the loop. This means a great deal and often makes my day. If anybody else reads this and thinks they’ve got it in them to fire me a text every now and then with a little “here’s what I did today” then go for it – I love it!

Next to Alan

A very big welcome to our newest member of the team - Francesca had her first successful week supporting the Maths students at Priestley College in Warrington. This isn't the first time our tutors have worked there and I know it'll be a really good placement for you. I'm keen to see how these drop-in sessions work once the timetable is fully set up for the remainder of the year.


Now over to Richard

My wall of happy is really a throwback to before the Christmas break at the refresher induction and Christmas meal. I found it a really enjoyable event and it was lovely to see tutors from across teams mixing together and catching up on how their year is going. I was especially privileged to be granted access to the rules for the game Around the World – I think I proved to be the slowest-witted member of the party that evening as I could not fathom what was going on so thank you for eventually taking pity on me and bringing me into your circle of trust!!


Now to Jess

A huge thank you to Ruwaydah this week for looking into options for our next social event. It’s brilliant to have an extra pair of hands and so reliable too!


And, finally to Anne

Loads to say even though it’s the first week back! Starting with Carla who has got offers for zoology piling up in her inbox, some excellent feedback for Hafsah who has delighted her department by forming a great rapport with students at Noel Baker and Claudia volunteering to dress up as a dog (pic attached!) in her primary school and going over and above to help with the Christmas play. All part of the rich tapestry of a year with Yipiyap, Claudia and well done everybody!

Also, a big CONGRATULATIONS on behalf of all of the team to Catherine who has recently been appointed as a School Governor at Bowdon Preparatory School. This is a massive achievement and responsibility and we all know what an amazing job Catherine will do in making BPS the best primary school in the world - really I think the CONGRATULATIONS should go to school for securing her!!! Brilliant news, Catherine!!

Calling all Medics- useful lectures to attend

I know this may be a trek for any medics outside of the Manchester area but I thought I would publish to all just in case you fancy a trip to Manchester.

There are 2 upcoming lectures (free to attend) as part of the Spring 2019 Season of Young People's Lectures held at the Manchester Convention Centre. They are:

  • 4th Feb “Molecular Surgery with CRISPR-Cas9” Professor David Hornby

  • 19th March “On You, Inside You: the amazing and horrible world of parasites” Professor Sheena Cruickshank

Bookings for these Young People’s lectures can be made through the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society website www.manlitphil.ac.uk.

We do not do a company booking but as per the website’s advice it is possible for you to make your own accounts to book tickets.

I hope this is useful!

Keep those New Year Resolutions!

Well, it’s the start of another year and many of us will be grappling with a brand new set of New Year’s resolutions. But have we learned from past experience? A large number, if not the majority, of previous resolutions are probably broken in weeks, days, or even hours.

So, how do you make this time round more successful? Well it’s not as hard as you might think — there are some really easy ways to set yourself on the path to success, and the first is:

1. Keep your resolutions simple

Sometimes people find themselves aiming for an overhaul of their entire lifestyle, and this is simply a recipe for disappointment and guilt. It may be understandable at this time of year, when self-improvement is on your mind, but experience shows these things can’t all be achieved at once. The best approach is to focus clearly on one or two of your most important goals.

2. Choose carefully

But which to choose? Well, you might like to concentrate on those that will have the greatest impact on your happiness, health and fulfilment. For example, going for a run will obviously improve your health, but it will also give you a sense of pride and will make you happy (but perhaps not immediately!)

3. Be realistic

Don’t aim too high and ignore reality – consider your previous experience with resolutions. What led to failure then? It may be that you resolved to get super fit or save an unrealistic amount of money. Remember, there will always be more opportunities to start on the next phase, so set realistic goals. Or if you don’t want to hold back, set clear short-term goals on your way to a big achievement. Which leads to tip number four.

4. Create bite-sized portions

Break goals down to manageable chunks. This is perhaps the most essential ingredient for success, as the more planning you do now, the more likely you are to get there in the end. The planning process is when you build up that all-important willpower which you will undoubtedly need to fall back on along the way. Set clear, realistic goals such as saving £20 a month, or going for a run once a week. Decide exactly how you will make this happen.

5. Plan a time-frame

In fact, the time-frame is vital for motivation. It is your barometer for success, the way you assess your short-term progress towards the ultimate long-term goal. Buy a calendar or diary so you can plan your actions for the coming weeks or months, and decide when and how often to evaluate.

6. Make notes

Having made a note of your time-frame, you will have a physical reminder of what you’re aiming for. Now go further and write down the details of your resolutions in a notebook, remembering to add your motivations. You could keep a scrapbook for this purpose and fill it with pictures of sporting or hobby equipment you are saving for, a place you want to go to or even a picture of the University you want to attend spur you into action! If your resolution will directly benefit your family or friends then add their photos too – anything to remind you of your initial motivation.

7. Treat yourself

When making your plan, a vital feature should be the rewards and treats you will give yourself at those all-important milestones. But be warned, don’t fall into the trap of putting your goal in danger – it’s too easy for a saver to throw caution to the wind with a new purchase. One slip, and it could all be over.

8. Receive support

It is at such times, when you’ve temporarily fallen off the wagon, that your support network is crucial. Carefully choose those people around you who have shown themselves to be trustworthy, supportive friends and explain your plans. Let them know of ways they can help when the going gets tough, and if they’re truly caring they’ll know the right things to say during the hard times.

9. Don’t give up!

Do bear in mind that a slip-up is almost inevitable at some point, and you must not let this become an excuse to give up. When it happens, you will need to draw on your reserves of self-belief and strength, so build these qualities as often as you can. Really feel proud of your past achievements and don’t become critical of yourself. People with higher self-esteem and confidence are in a much better position to succeed, so immediately forgive yourself and say “I’m starting again now!”

10. Put yourself in charge

These achievements are under your control – other people can advise and support you but it’s your actions which need to change to see the results you want. Having a strong sense of control over your life is necessary to stick with your plans. Those who blame everyone and everything apart from themselves will not have the resources needed to change. Yes, it’s scary to take responsibility for your future, but surely it’s better than the alternative?

Now you’ve read these tips, you are in a great position to consider the best ways to improve your life this New Year. Your happiness is worth the time and effort, so get started, and good luck!

Pedagogy Corner

In the last of these full posts I did before Christmas, I talked about some revision strategies with mock exams in mind. Now that mocks are likely to be nearing completion around all of the different Yipiyap schools, I thought it worth mentioning a common strategy called QLA that schools employ which you should be asking about.

QLA stands for ‘Question Level Analysis’ and is a key tool for teachers and school leaders to see what the strengths and weaknesses are for students on both a class level and on an individual level. Frequently after sets of exams schools will have this analysis completed – in some schools it may only be shared with teachers and for a limited number of subjects but I have also worked in schools where all subjects are expected to produce this analysis and share it with students and parents. Typically it is a colour coded document with strong topics/skills highlighted in green, areas needing some improvement highlighted in amber or yellow and those where students have performed most poorly coloured in red.

As tutors I would encourage you to ask your Head of Faculty about this and whether it is something produced in your school. If it is I would ask to get hold of a copy for those students you work with. In my view it is a powerful piece of analysis work that schools can do and for you will be a very useful diagnostic tool which will help you to target key topics to work on with your students. As with any of these pedagogy posts, if you want to ask me anything about it you are most welcome to drop me a line.

Millie and Zak’s Top 20 Tunes

We have a truly awesome mix of tunes this week thanks to Mille and Zak. I had my ear chewed at the Christmas Refresher Induction as to when they would have a chance to do this and amazingly when I came to send out the invite from my tutor buddy list on Monday, guess who was next… spooky!!

I know you are all going to be dancing around the house with your hairbrushes singing along to these! Have fun and thanks for sharing, you two!!

And that’s all for this week folks!! Have a great weekend!


I will bring positivity into school by greeting everyone with a smile.

I will be proactive, looking for ways to help teachers and students and asking for help if I need it.

I’m a role model and will show children how to conduct themselves.

I will be professional at all times, respect staff and value the responsibilities I am given.

There will be times when I make mistakes but I will never stop learning!
— The Yipiyap Mantra